Areas of expertise: late-antique and Byzantine hymnography and homiletics; Byzantine liturgy; late-antique cultural interactions; late-antique history and historiography; religious conflict; history of emotions
ORCID ID: 0000-0003-2935-653X
Location: ACU Melbourne Campus
After studying classics and applied mathematics at the University of Melbourne, I completed a PhD on a late-antique hymnographer, Romanos the Melodist. This project, which studied the rhetoric and thought of a significant Byzantine liturgical writer, combined rhetorical and theological analysis with a historical understanding and awareness of the performative nature of his compositions. My book, Theology and Poetry in Early Byzantium, which arose out of my PhD dissertation, is published by Cambridge University Press. I am interested in cultural interactions in late antiquity. My work on Romanos placed him in the complex context of late antique liturgical writings, focusing on religious clashes, theological disputes and inheritance and literary influences, and explored the use of dialogue as an investigative, exploratory and exegetical tool. I have also worked on dialogue texts in times of religious conflict: the forced baptism of Jews under the emperor Heraclius. I am working on developing this project into a wider study of interreligious dialogue after the beginning of Islam. I also continue to work on Romanos and Byzantine homiletics and hymnography. In addition, I am collaborating on an international project on the night in late antiquity entitled The Wakeful Night: Nocturnal Imaginations, Encounters and Emotions in the Late Ancient Mediterranean.